Tuesday, May 20, 2008

You've Got to Be Serious

So concluding today, I took my sonnet to my English class for a workshop (basically a peer edit group). My two partners loved it, and the guy even said that he was planning on reading it again later when he had more time. I was finally encouraged. I had written this poem that I really liked, and felt as though maybe I really could get by with this creative writing class.

Then my teacher walked by.

Looking over my partner's shoulder, he said, "You're trying too hard. Why is it so archaic? You're trying to be poetic, and ... eh, it just doesn't work for me. Maybe if you can try being normal contemporary type, that might work, but trying to sound poetic makes it not very good."




Seriously. Am I supposed to throw my voice away so I can take on his just to appease him?

That's what has been suggested by a few people -- but I'd rather fight the system than give up the beautiful, olde tyme language I am used to assimilating into my various expressions of writing, whether they be poetry, journal entries, or essays. My last semester's English teacher said that the best way to write well is to write like yourself!

So. Maybe... I won't make it through this class.

At least, the one redeeming part of this day is, when the teacher walked away, my group said, "It's ok. We don't like him either."


Jess(ica) said...

Sounds like a bad teacher. Not that he necessarily teaches bad, but isn't poetry supposed to be something different for everyone? I mean, he should just be encouraging you to be creative and express your thoughts however you want. I will be honest: there is little to no poetry that has ever impressed me. Not because I think people are bad at writing it (I think poetry can be very well written), but I just don't like it. It doesn't do anything for me. I don't connect with poetry in any way and it doesn't "speak to me". BUT, if the writer can put down their thoughts and express themselves through it, who is the teacher to tell you that you didn't express yourself acurately? Isn't his job to just show you HOW to do it? I could be way off; I have never taken a creative writing class (I would certainly fail if I did!!!) =) Much luck making it through the semester! Just try and be happy with what you write and that, my friend, will be a successful class!

Elizabeth said...

no I agree with you. I followed the form, so how I express myself IS my "voice" etc. And to be honest, I don't much like poetry either... except Shel Silverstein for being fun, Emily Dickensen for being beautiful, and occasionally my own for being my expression. But just because he doesn't like it shouldn't mean it's "bad poetry." But then again, we have to remember that this is coming from the guy that likes the poem "This is Just to Say" which is completely devoid of any creativity, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Is it at all possible that he actually sees potential in you and is pushing your buttons? Sometimes the best poetry comes from the strongest emotions.

Sorry I am remaining anonymous, but it's better that way. You might be surprised who I am.

Elizabeth said...

surprise me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for changing your setting. Someday I will reveal to you my identity. When you are ready. I mean you no harm. It's just that I don't want my identity to get in the way of my words.